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Web-Hosting Failures.

NEED I.T. HELP: My web-developer hosts my business web-site and my email -- being told that the data-warehouse service provider that he uses has suffered a server hardware crash. NO EMAIL for the entire day --- and I need it, no timely or effective communication about the ETA for a fix. Being advised by developer that he uses a recognized data center vendor. Anyone have suggestions on how I can motivate this guy to motivate his guy to fix it?

What actions should I take to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Answers

Mark Hurst
Title: Director of BAS
Company: Hein and Associates
(Director of BAS, Hein and Associates) |

In the future I would document your service level expectations into your contract with the vendor. In addition you should require your vendor to provide you a Service Organization Control Report (SOC 2) and make sure it includes the processing ingrity component of the Trust Services Principles (accuracy, completeness and Timeliness). The Service Organization control report should also be a requirement spelled out in your contract with the vendor. Most service providers and data centers are familiar with Service Level Agreements (SLA's) and service auditor reports and if reputable will make arrangements to obtain them. The service audior reports will provide you, the user entity, with vaulable information on how your service provider is performing related to its internat controls. The outage caused by the server failure is likley atttributable to an internal control break down and the data center should have had a plan in place to recover quickly from such a failure.

Lee Amon
Title: Director of Marketing
Company: Silicon Valley Accountants
(Director of Marketing, Silicon Valley Accountants) |

In the short term, I don't have an answer. Going forward, I would strongly recommend separating the services. I never let my web designers host the site for a variety of reasons. I prefer to have a designer, a different company host the site, and (in some cases) a third company host the email.

All data centers can be subject to failure. One that I dealt with experienced a DDOS attack, and was out for a day. Even so, good hosts will have redundancies and recovery plans, and should not be out for long.

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